PML-N, JUI-F not to withdraw Fazl from president election

Shahbaz-Fazal.jpg

Kaira wants Maulana to pave way for Aitzaz Ahsan

Staff Reporter

Lahore

The senior leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-N and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F agreed to not withdraw Maulana Fazlur Rehman from the presidential election.
The decision was made in a meeting held at the PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif’s Model Town residence.
In a press conference held after the meeting, Fazl urged the Pakistan People’s Party to agree on the decision made by the joint opposition parties over his name for the slot as by not withdrawing its candidate the party is providing an opportunity to the PTI.
Fazl added that the PPP paved way for Imran Khan to become prime minister by not voting in the leader of the house election.
In the meeting, Fazl and Shahbaz discussed future strategy regarding the presidential elections. Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Akram Khan Durrani accompanied the JUI-F chief, while PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and others were present in the meeting.
Fazl said that he has been nominated as presidential candidate by all opposition parties except the PPP. “We will try to have consensus over a joint opposition candidate,” he said.
He said that he has cordial relation with the Pakistan People;s Party leader Asif Ali Zardari, and requested him to withdraw his candidacy for the unity of opposition parties. “PPP should accept opposition’s candidate today to express unity among them,” he said.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman said opposition parties had nominated him as their “joint candidate” for the slot of president.
The JUI-F chief said he wanted a candidate “mutually agreed on by the opposition” to contest the elections.
“The parties have expressed their confidence in me. I thank them for their support. PPP should’ve agreed on joint opposition’s presidential candidate today as it is quite easy for them to withdraw their candidate,” he added.
Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, the PML-N leader said that the opposition will put its maximum effort for success in the presidential election.
“We will also reach to the political parties who have not agreed to support Fazl,” the PML-N leader said.
According to sources, Asif Ali Zardari is resolved to put across a strong case for the party’s nominee for opposition’s candidate for presidential election Aitzaz Ahsan.
Earlier, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said “if Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman steps down as presidential candidate, Aitzaz Ahsan will win” the September 4 election.
“We respect Maulana Fazlur Rehman and our attempts are to convince him to withdraw his nomination papers. If he agrees then Aitzaz Ahsan will be victorious,” Kaira said while addressing a news conference along with other party leaders in Lahore on Sunday. Kaira further said the PPP reached out to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for seeking support for Aitzaz Ahsan. “We were even ready to visit Nawaz Sharif in jail,” he said, adding, “We tried meeting Nawaz Sharif, even Shehbaz Sharif asked us to meet him but the meeting could not take place.”

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